Heavy Snoopy for your Kindle

A couple weeks ago a rather huge Snoopy collection was released for the Kindle, and its follow up is coming out this week. The World According to Snoopy Volume One and The World According to Snoopy Volume Two each collect eight Snoopy-centric strip collections, specifically:

Volume One –

  • Snoopy the Great Philosopher
  • Snoopy the Legal Beagle
  • Snoopy the Fitness Fanatic
  • Snoopy the Master Chef
  • Snoopy the Fearless Leader
  • Snoopy the Great Entertainer
  • Snoopy the Literary Ace
  • Snoopy the Matchmaker

Volume Two –

  • Snoopy, Man’s Best Friend
  • Snoopy the Sportsman
  • Snoopy the Music Lover
  • Snoopy the Flying Ace
  • Snoopy the Tennis Ace
  • Snoopy the Winter Wonder Dog
  • Snoopy, Master of Disguise
  • Snoopy, Master of the Fairways.

Now, if these titles don’t sound familiar to you, there are a couple of reasons for that. One is that these are UK books. The other is that they’ve messed with the titles – what’s being collected here are mass market black-and-white paperbacks that were first released in the 1980s as the “Snoopy Stars” series (i.e., Snoopy Stars as the Winter Wonder Dog) and then in the aughts as the “Snoopy Features” series (Snoopy Features as the Winter Wonder Dog.) Under these latest titles, the books were published for the Kindle in the US in 2015, released by Peanuts Worldwide themselves in cooperation with Open Road Media.

These are huge Kindle files (about 300 MB each – which is curious, since the original books were about 25 MB each, so eight of them should be 200 MB), and not a particular bargain. They cost roughly the same as buying the 8 e-books that make up the volume. Between the two of them, you’ll get about 2000 Peanuts strips for over $90. You’d actually get more Snoopy than that, including color Sundays, by buying the high end hardcover Celebrating Snoopy, which costs (as I type this) the same as just one of these two downloadable volumes.

So why does this collection exist? Who is it for? What was Peanuts Worldwide’s goal in putting it out? Is it really more for the library market, or are there some specific customers they are thinking of reaching? Here’s the wonderful truth about electronic publishing – it doesn’t really matter! As long as you have the files anyway for the smaller books, there’s very little cost involved in collecting them into another edition. A little time with a layout program and generating a new cover image, and you’re there… and then you let the market tell you if there’s an audience. It doesn’t take a lot of sales to justify the effort.

(Although speaking of the cover image: That image, which you’ll see near the top of this article,  seems to violate some of the usual standards for use of Peanuts art – the Snoopy image is flipped from the cover image of the Great Philosopher volume (flipping is discouraged in Peanuts licensing), and is integrated with the box image (of a non-existent physical box set) in an awkward way.)

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